Archive for Osama Bin Laden

American Pride , Revenge and Baseball!!

Posted in Baseball, ESPN, History, MLB, New York City, New York Yankees, NY Times, NYC, Politics, YouTube Classics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2011 by mattyfresh697400

Long Live The World Trade

Where were you at 10:30pm on Sunday May 1, 2011??

I suspect that as time marches on most people will remember where they were when they heard the incredible news that the worlds most wanted man, Osama Bin Laden was dead!

Have Fun In Hell

Now without question you can ask anyone and I mean literally anyone where they were the morning of Tuesday September 11th 2001 and each person knows exactly where they were and what they were doing, and if you are talking to New Yorkers as I so often have, every person has a unique and fascinating story about that morning and the hours that followed. I myself was living on Christopher Street, barely a mile away from the World Trade Center. I unfortunately had a front row seat to the devastation as I watched both Towers fall with my very own eyes from the roof of my building. I along with 15 very scared neighbors watched for hours as the black smoke billowed against the crystal blue sky and eventually  the black smoke got thicker and thicker and then the towers fell.


One of my first thoughts that morning as I made my way up to the roof was ” I wonder if the Yankee game will be cancelled tonight” of course I had zero indication this was a terrorist attack and no sense whatsoever at the magnitude of what I was witnessing, but something told me it was serious but really I was clueless , as we all were at first.

Well not only was the Yankee game not going to be played that night but in truth the entire world stopped that day and we were changed as a country forever!!

The days and weeks that followed were incredibly challenging for all Americans but for New Yorkers it was a whole other level. Within hours of the towers falling pictures of missing loved ones covered light posts and street signs, make shift memorials were everywhere, candle light vigils were a common occurrence for weeks. I recall the incredible somber mood during the Jewish High Holidays where at my synagogue there was not a dry eye in the house.

But America and our citizens are defined by their courage and resilience in the face of unfathomable challenges, and in the days that followed the attacks there was a patriotic unity that I had certainly never seen or felt in my lifetime and nothing the country had experienced since perhaps when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.


So of course on the night of September 11th there was no Yankee game and in fact there were no Major League  Baseball games whatsoever for 8 days. What did Baseball really mean at a time of such unparalleled tragedy?

But 8 days later baseball did return and the national anthem that is played at the start of every game took on a new and profound meaning.  On September 25th Baseball finally returned to New York and the Police Officers that patrol the stadium were finally being treated as the heroes they were, American flags were visible everywhere at the Stadium.

God Bless America

And as the month of September marched on and the baseball season slowly crept towards the post season, The defending World Series Champion New York Yankees were giving their fans and more importantly their wounded city, something to cheer about. If only for a few hours every night, the Yankees gave hope and distraction to 8 million grieving neighbors. And as the Yankees always do, they just kept winning and winning and before anyone knew it, it was mid October and the Yankees were on their way to the World Series, playing not just for their fans but for all New Yorkers (yes even you Met fans out there)

Now New York and the Yankees in particular often take plenty of flack from every other city out there (most likely because we are bigger and better) but that is a whole other post entirely. But for 10 days at the end of October and the start of November, the Yankees were truly Americas team!

The first two games of the 2001 World Series were in Arizona, (Arizona won both) so Game three was the first in New York and once again the eyes of the entire world were on New York. I have an uncanny ability to remember baseball games but the real historic highlight of this game came before the first batter even stepped in the box.  On this night, The President of the United States would be throwing out the first pitch, this moment encapsulated all the things that make this country what it is in one symbolic moment; Strength, Pride, Resilience and Hope. George W. Bush might have a had a very tumultuous presidency but in October of 2001 , he was our leader and the entire country was unified in our support of him, nowhere was that more evident than in Yankee Stadium on that legendary evening.


As the President marched out to the mound , chest out, shoulders back, head held high ,  55,000 screaming fans began to chant “USA, USA, USA” !!! I have never and will never see or feel anything like that again, but through our National Pastime, Baseball… it was clear that America can never be held down!

The next three nights the Yankee magic continued, Derek Jeter became Mr. November and Scott Brosius and Tino Martinez achieved the impossible (2 run HRs with two outs down by 2 on back to back nights) Now the Yankees might not have won the 2001 World Series but they did captivate a nation and helped lift up a city that desperately needed some Yankee Magic and the boys certainly delivered.


Fast Forward almost 10 years to this past Sunday night, when I saw the breaking news alert on CNN I could not believe my eyes! We actually got him! President Barack Obama authorized what seems to be one of the riskiest covert missions in our countries history and Osama Bin Laden was finally dead, pierced by the bullet of a brave American soldier. Just as it should be . America Never forgets!!

Monday morning I ran out to buy the paper because I wanted to save what in many ways is the bookend to the greatest tragedy in American History. The evil face of Osama Bin Laden covered the front page with the bold text reading : “WE GOT HIM”

I turned the paper over and was surprised that there was not another image of Bin Laden where the sports section would normally be, but instead of Osama there was an image from the Mets vs. Phillies game from Sunday night. As it turns out the Mets and Phillies were tied at 1-1 and the game went into extra innings and late into Sunday night and as thes rest of the country was glued to their TV sets trying to digest the incredible news, the fans at the Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philly were getting text message and facebook updates from friends and family. And then just like in 2001 the entire stadium erupted in chants of “USA, USA, USA”

Once again Baseball somehow has weaved itself into the fabric of American History!!

Justice

and on this night there were no Philly Fans and there were no Mets Fans…There were just Americans.

Justice is Served!!!

Junior Varsity Terrorists???

Posted in History, New York City, NY Times, NYC with tags , , , , , , on May 3, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

https://i1.wp.com/brushwithextinction.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/times-square-one-view.jpg

Terrorism is defined as the ” Use of Violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes” I certainly do not have to tell anyone that the attacks on 9/11 basically were the Triple Crown of a global terrorist attack. Number one and most  importantly the murder of 3000 innocent people, two ,the fact the attack took place on american soil , and three,..the symbolism involved in not only attacking the symbolic heart of our capitalist spirit but the actually ever-lasting images of the collapse of the Towers. Real life images are powerful things, the images of the Twin Towers falling will be haunting forever. Being a New Yorker, I saw them fall with my very own eyes.

I would like to think that post 9/11, the American efforts to prevent another attack on American soil have been nothing short of perfect.

But then of course we HAVE to be perfect don’t we, anything less than complete perfection is complete failure and the loss of further American lives.  When it comes to fighting terror, the odds are on the sides of the terrorists , in that they can afford to not hit their target, and they might very well live to fight another day or certainly some fundamentalist with their own gripes about the world will be there to take their place.

For the moment though I would like to  think, that we are winning the WAR on Terror as they call it, and by applying pressure to terrorist forces on their soil (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan) Fighting the fight in their backyard simply put, keeps America safer. The downside to this philosophy is that unless there are sweeping changes amongst those factions that hate our way of life, preach that hatred to the younger generations and are willing to sacrifice their own lives to “KILL THE INFIDELS”…then Unfortunately this might be a war that never ends. Because it can’t!

There is something that’s clear though as indicated by recent events, The Terrorists (Domestic or International) are still out there and still trying to take innocent American lives, only problem for them is , We got the real heavy hitters pinned down , hiding in caves, dodging Special Forces units all the while trying to play defense and organize their offense.

And clearly right now the Junior Varsity squad is playing ball for the Terrorists. In December the attempted christmas bombing of Flight 253 from the Netherlands to Michigan was perpetrated by a Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab , Nigerian national that might have trained in Yemen but clearly to did not pass the bomb denotation courses offered by Al Quada, being that Mr. Mutallab could not even detonate his device, but in a sweet twist of irony did manage to burn himself in the “CROTCHAL REGION” ….word to Anchorman.

Then we have the events of this past saturday night, a car bomb, loaded with enough explosive devices to put a nice crater in the middle of Times Square, considered by some to be the literal center of the world. The potential carnage would have this nation shook. Thankfully this wanna be terrorist also never got his IED degree , and the ever vigilante New York Street Vendor saved the day.

Now the obvious and most troubling question is how did these JV Terrorists get so close to making the pros and accomplishing their mission. The truth is we live in the most free and open society in the world and you can’t police it ,The freedoms we have in our society define what is to be American. And whether the terrorists are able to succeed one day in the future and all the odds point in that eventuality, I don’t believe America or Americans will change. I mean I went to Times Square yesterday to hit up CHAMPS and by some Air Jordans…Americans dont cave.

But I guess what gives me a slight glimmer of hope is that the few potential attacks that were , (well we can’t say they were foiled, The idiots just could not get the job done) that have been made public,  were perpetrated by the D-League players and perhaps we actually do have the Osama Bin Ladens of the world so holed up that to even consider a plan as complex and as ruthless as 9/11 is just not in the cards right now. The Terrorist varsity team is benched and the hopefully we can handle the JV players. … But then again..any asshole can blow themselves up….right?

I consider myself a pretty superstitious person, but that applies more to like always sitting in the exact same seat at Yankee Stadium and stepping onto the plane with my right foot, so I pray that by writing this I am not jinxing anything. Our country has gotten lucky twice recently and for that I am grateful.

But if you can put a  positive spin on the two recent attempted terrorist attacks, it’s that we are currently dealing (Thankfully) with  the equivalent of  the Bad News Bears of terrorists, The Nigerian genius tries to blow an airliner out of the sky and instead he burns his hanes boxer briefs……what?

Lets pray that if they continue to send over terrorists or even grow them right here on our soil that they are of the JUNIOR VARSITY Variety!!

“Kill Bin Laden” by Dalton Fury

Posted in Books, History, NY Times with tags , , , , on April 19, 2010 by mattyfresh697400

"Kill Bin Laden" by Dalton Fury

I have been on a bit of  a reading binge as of late and I decided to take a break from Revolutionary War and Presidential history and go with something a bit more contemporary. Truth be told, the sole reason I purchased “KILL BIN LADEN” was the title, I mean how much more straight forward can you get?

“Kill Bin Laden” is a Delta Force Commander’s account of the search for the World Most Wanted Man.

If you are interested in the reason why after almost ten years since perhaps our nations greatest tragedy that the man ultimately responsible has never been killed or captured, then this book will do little to answer those questions. What “KILL BIN LADEN” does offer is a first hand look at the immediate months following the 9/11 attacks and the United States Special Forces efforts to Kill Bin Laden at the Battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan.

But we all know the end result here, Bin Laden escaped through the back door and into the wild mountain region on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. So what does this book really tell us? Well the author Dalton Fury (a high-ranking delta force commander) gives us an in-depth look at Delta Force and how they operate. Delta Force is the cream of the crop of special forces soldiers, the very best and elite killing machines our country has to offer and at the Battle of Tora Bora, they might not have captured or killed Bin Laden, but they certainly put a serious hurting on Al Qaeda and I am sure saved countless American lives in the process.

The author tends to stay away from some of the political decisions made above his head that may or may not have led to Bin Laden escaping. Rather than place blame Fury spends the majority of the book singing the praises of his fellow Delta Force “Operators” and its pretty amazing how tough these guys are.

When I think of DELTA FORCE I think of Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin from the 80’s action franchise and after reading “KILL BIN LADEN” it seems those movies might have actually been spot on.

If you are interested in what might very well be considered the United States opening blow in the war on terror and more specifically the infamous DELTA FORCE, the book is worth  a read, but at the end of the day they did not KILL BIN LADEN….where is Chuck Norris when you need him???